John’s Believe It Or Not… July 31st

In 1764 – Sir William Johnson holds a great council at Niagara. In 2007 Operation Banner – the presence of the British Army in Northern Ireland – comes to an end. In 1975 Jimmy Hoffa disappears. In 1556 Ignatius of Loyola dies. In 1703 Daniel Defoe is put in the pillory.

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John Fioravanti standing in fron of his classroom blackboard.

Oh-Oh! It’s Monday! Did you know…

* 1764 – Sir William Johnson holds a great council at Niagara to ratify George III’s Royal Proclamation of 1763 – 2000 chiefs from 24 Nations create Annual Presents wampum belt. (The 1764 Treaty of Fort Niagara was signed by Sir William Johnson for the Crown and 24 Nations from the Six Nations, Seneca, Wyandot of Detroit, Menominee, Algonquin, Nipissing, Ojibwa, Mississaugas, and others who were part of the Seven Nations of Canada and the Western Lakes Confederacy. The Treaty was concluded on August 1, 1764.

{This was a second treaty just with the Senecas. The treaty transferred possession of a narrow four-mile strip of land along the Niagara River’s western shore. This Treaty also detached some of them from Pontiac’s Rebellion.}

This Treaty is significant as it reaffirmed the political foundation for the Covenant Chain Relations between Great Britain and the Indigenous Nations of the Great Lakes and Northeastern Woodlands. It also guaranteed the Indigenous Nations of an annual flow of goods and presents to ensure that the ongoing treaty was still valid. At the 1764 gathering were at least 24 Native Nations including the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy; Akwesasne, Kahnawake, Kahnasatake, and others of the Seven Nations of Canada; Wyandot of Detroit; Algonquin, Nipissing, Mississauga, Odawa, Ojibway and other Anishinaabe Nations; Menominee, and others who were part of the Western Lakes Confederacy.

“The 1764 Treaty was an important turning point in relationships between the Indigenous Nations that participated as it was a way of renewing their treaty relationship with each other, and refreshing the pledges made with the ancient Dish With One Spoon Treaty whereby the Indigenous Nations agreed to share the bounty provide by the Mother Earth,” said organizer and historian Rick Hill. “Increasing competition over the fur trade caused much strife between the Indigenous Nations. This commemoration is a form of healing of those old wounds.”)

The 1764 Covenant Chain Wampum Belt
The 1764 Covenant Chain Wampum Belt (replica completed by Ken Maracle, March 8th, 2014) (Canada’s Constitutional Monarchy)

* 2007 Operation Banner, the presence of the British Army in Northern Ireland – comes to an end. (Operation Banner was the operational name for the British Armed Forces’ operation in Northern Ireland from August 1969 to July 2007, as part of the Troubles. It was the longest continuous deployment in the British military’s history. The British Army was initially deployed, at the request of the unionist government of Northern Ireland, in response to the August 1969 riots. Its role was to support the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and to assert the authority of the British government in Northern Ireland. At the peak of the operation in the 1970s, about 21,000 British troops were deployed, most of them from Britain. As part of the operation, a new locally-recruited regiment was also formed: the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR).

The main opposition to the British military’s deployment came from the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA). It waged a guerrilla campaign against the British military from 1970 to 1997. There was also much hostility to the British military’s deployment from the Catholic community; particularly due to incidents such as the Falls Curfew (1970), Operation Demetrius (1971) and Bloody Sunday (1972). In their efforts to defeat the IRA, there were incidents of collusion between the British Army and Ulster loyalist paramilitaries. An internal British Army document released in 2007 stated that whilst it had failed to defeat the IRA, it had made it impossible for the IRA to win through violence and reduced substantially the death toll in the last years of conflict. After the 1998 Belfast Agreement, the operation was gradually scaled down and the vast majority of British troops were withdrawn.

According to the Ministry of Defence, 1,441 serving British military personnel died in Operation Banner; 722 of whom were killed in paramilitary attacks, and 719 of whom died as a result of other causes. The British military killed 306 people during the operation, about 51% of whom were civilians and 41% of whom were members of republican paramilitaries.)

Devastation at a bomb damaged police station in Chichester Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland in November 1971, in which a police inspector died. (flashbak.com)

* 1975 Jimmy Hoffa disappears. (On July 31, 1975, James Riddle Hoffa, one of the most influential American labor leaders of the 20th century, disappears in Detroit, Michigan, never to be heard from again. Though he is popularly believed to have been the victim of a Mafia hit, conclusive evidence was never found, and Hoffa’s death remains shrouded in mystery to this day.

Born in 1913 to a poor coal miner in Brazil, Indiana, Jimmy Hoffa proved a natural leader in his youth. At the age of 20, he helped organize a labor strike in Detroit and remained an advocate for downtrodden workers for the rest of his life. Hoffa’s charisma and talents as a local organizer quickly got him noticed by the Teamsters and carried him upward through its ranks. Then a small but rapidly growing union, the Teamsters organized truckers across the country, and through the use of strikes, boycotts and some more powerful though less legal methods of protest, won contract demands on behalf of workers.

Hoffa became president of the Teamsters in 1957 when its former leader was imprisoned for bribery. As chief, Hoffa was lauded for his tireless work to expand the union, and for his unflagging devotion to even the organization’s least powerful members. His caring and approachability were captured in one of the more well-known quotes attributed to him: “You got a problem? Call me. Just pick up the phone.”

Hoffa’s dedication to the worker and his electrifying public speeches made him wildly popular, both among his fellow workers and the politicians and businessmen with whom he negotiated. Yet, for all the battles he fought and won on behalf of American drivers, he also had a dark side. In Hoffa’s time, many Teamster leaders partnered with the Mafia in racketeering, extortion, and embezzlement. Hoffa himself had relationships with high-ranking mobsters and was the target of several government investigations throughout the 1960s. In 1967, he was convicted of bribery and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

While in jail, Hoffa never ceded his office, and when Richard Nixon commuted his sentence in 1971, he was poised to make a comeback. Released on condition of not participating in union activities for 10 years, Hoffa was planning to fight the restriction in court when he disappeared on July 31, 1975, from the parking lot of a restaurant in Detroit, not far from where he got his start as a labor organizer. Several conspiracy theories have been floated about Hoffa’s disappearance and the location of his remains, but the truth remains unknown.)

Hoffa appears at the Teamsters union convention in 1957, the year he first became union president.
Hoffa appears at the Teamsters union convention in 1957, the year he first became union president. (cnntopstory.blogspot.com)

* 1556 Ignatius of Loyola dies (Ignatius, the son of a noble and wealthy Spanish family called the Loyolas, was born in his family’s ancestral castle in 1491. Little interested in church matters, he trained as a knight and in 1517 went in the service of a relative, Antonio Manrique de Lara, the duke of Najera and Viceroy of Navarre. In May 1521, during the siege of Pamplona by the French, his legs were shattered by a cannonball. Seriously wounded, he was transported to his family’s castle, where he was forced to lie in convalescence for many weeks. During this time, he was given the Bible and a book on the saints to read. He came to see the service of God as a kind of holy chivalry and resolved to live an austere life in imitation of the saints.

In February 1522 he made a pilgrimage to Montserrat, where a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary and Child, supposedly carved by St. Luke, resides. Ignatius hung his sword and dagger near the statue as symbols of his conversion to a holy life. For the next year, he lived as a beggar and prayed for seven hours a day, often in a cave near Manresa in northeastern Spain. During this time, he composed an early draft of The Spiritual Exercises, his manual for spiritual meditation and conversion. In 1523, he made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

After his return to Spain in 1524, Ignatius resolved to gain an extensive education to prepare himself for his spiritual mission. He studied in Barcelona and at the University of Alcala, where he began to acquire followers. Suspected of heresy, he was tried in Alcala, and later in Salamanca but both times was acquitted. He was forbidden to teach until he reached the priesthood, and he went to the University of Paris to continue his studies.

In August 1534, the Jesuit movement was born when Ignatius led six of his followers to Montmartre near Paris, where the group took vows of poverty and chastity and made plans to work for the conversion of Muslims. If travel to the Holy Land was not possible, they vowed to offer themselves to the pope for apostolic work. In 1537, Ignatius and most of his companions were ordained. Unable to travel to Jerusalem because of the Turkish wars, they went to Rome instead to meet with the pope and request permission to form a new religious order. In September 1540, Pope Paul III approved Ignatius’ outline of the Society of Jesus, as the Jesuit order is formally known.

Under Ignatius’ charismatic leadership, the Society of Jesus grew quickly. Jesuit missionaries played a leading role in the Counter-Reformation and won back many of the European faithful who had been lost to Protestantism. In Ignatius’ lifetime, Jesuits were also dispatched to India, Brazil, the Congo region, and Ethiopia. Education was of utmost importance to the Jesuits, and in Rome, Ignatius founded the Roman College (later called the Gregorian University) and the Germanicum, a school for German priests. The Jesuits also ran several charitable organizations, such as one for former prostitutes and one for converted Jews. When Ignatius de Loyola died on July 31, 1556, there were more than 1,000 Jesuit priests.

During the next century, the Jesuits set up ministries around the globe. The “Black-Robes,” as they were known in Native America, often preceded European countries in their infiltration of foreign lands and societies. The life of a Jesuit was one of immense risk, and thousands of priests were persecuted or killed by foreign authorities hostile to their mission of conversion. However, in some nations, such as India and China, the Jesuits were revered as men of wisdom and science.

With the rise of nationalism in the 18th century, most European countries suppressed the Jesuits, and in 1773 Pope Clement XIV dissolved the order under pressure from the Bourbon monarchs. However, in 1814, Pope Pius VII gave in to popular demand and re-established the Jesuits as an order, and they continue their missionary work to this day. Ignatius de Loyola was canonized as a Catholic saint in 1622. His feast day is July 31.)

St Ignatius of Loyola Founder of the Jesuits
St Ignatius of Loyola Founder of the Jesuits (player.fm)

* 1703 Daniel Defoe is put in the pillory. (On this day, Daniel Defoe is put in the pillory as punishment for seditious libel, brought about by the publication of a politically satirical pamphlet.

Defoe’s middle-class father had hoped Defoe would enter the ministry, but Defoe decided to become a merchant instead. After he went bankrupt in 1692, he turned to political pamphleteering to support himself. A deft writer, Defoe’s pamphlets were highly effective in moving readers. His pamphlet The Shortest Way with Dissenters was an attack on High Churchman, satirically written as if from the High Church point of view but extending their arguments to the point of foolishness. Both sides of the dispute, Dissenters and High Church alike, took the pamphlet seriously, and both sides were outraged to learn it was a hoax. Defoe was arrested for seditious libel in May 1703. While awaiting his punishment, he wrote the spirited “Hymn to the Pillory.” The public sympathized with Defoe and threw flowers, instead of the customary rocks, at him while he stood in the pillory.

He was sent back to Newgate Prison, from which Robert Harley, the future Earl of Oxford, obtained his release. Harley hired Defoe as a political writer and spy. To this end, Defoe set up the Review, which he edited and wrote from 1704 to 1713. It wasn’t until he was nearly 60 that he began writing fiction. In 1719, The Life and Strange Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Defoe’s fictional account of a shipwrecked sailor who spent 28 years on a desert island, was published. His other works include Moll Flanders (1722) and Roxana (1724). He died in London in 1731.)

Daniel Defoe by James Charles at the Pillory.
Daniel Defoe by James Charles at the Pillory. (rtvslo.si)

Today’s Sources:

* Canadian History Timeline – Canada’s Historical Chronology  http://canadachannel.ca/todayincanadianhistory/index.php

* Chiefs of Ontario                                                                 http://www.chiefs-of-ontario.org/node/920

* On This Day – History, Film, Music and Sport       http://www.onthisday.com/

* Wikipedia                                                        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Banner

* This Day In History – What Happened Today   http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/

 

Author: John Fioravanti

I'm a retired History teacher (35 years), husband, father of three, grandfather of three. My wife, Anne, and I became business partners in December, 2013, and launched our own publishing company, Fiora Books (http://fiorabooks.com), to publish my books. We have been married since 1973 and hope our joint business venture will be as successful as our marriage.

8 thoughts on “John’s Believe It Or Not… July 31st”

  1. Another wonderful post, John – thank you! I have a special love for Ignatius of Loyola and resonate with his approach to prayer involving visualization. I’ve always wanted to go to Montserrat to see the Black Madonna, perhaps the earliest depiction of Mary. It’s top on my bucket list! Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I picked that story for you, Gwen – I wasn’t aware that he was special to you. The Jesuits have always been the Pope’s “A Team”. I hope you get to check off that item on your Bucket List. Thanks for your comment. Hugs!

      Like

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